Top tips to prepare for EQA

Jayne Foster is Lead External Quality Assurer (EQA) for the CACHE brand at NCFE, managing a team of 14 EQAs across several regions, both in the UK and internationally. Jayne provides us with some top tips to support you to prepare for an EQA visit.

The EQA team is responsible for the quality assurance of all internally assessed qualifications, which involves approval, monitoring and evaluation of centres. Centres have a dedicated EQA that is linked to the qualifications being delivered at your centre.

How can your centre prepare for EQA?

  • Take advantage of centre support

Your EQA can provide support with any queries relating to quality assurance that you may have throughout the year and it’s important to ask them if you do have any questions. You’ll receive communication from NCFE in preparation for review visits and you need to ensure that you’re preparing for these so that learners aren’t disadvantaged. All general queries can be directed to our Customer Support team who’ll be happy to help you.

  • Schedule centre reviews early

It’s important to plan in advance and schedule centre reviews early, at least 3-4 months prior to the visit taking place. We also recommend setting a provisional date with your EQA for the following one. Diaries can be tight, especially around the end of term (June/July) and when funding dates are looming, which is why we advise on organising early.

  • Attend training events

Training events are held throughout the year in locations including Birmingham, London, Manchester and Newcastle. Assessor and Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) training will both be extremely useful to you when preparing for EQA. The training is a great opportunity to meet with assessment and IQA professionals, as well as like-minded practitioners, to learn about or expand your knowledge and understanding of assessment, IQA and our qualifications. All events are led by the EQA team, so you’ll be able to speak directly to the team and get the answers to any queries you may have.

  • Arrange support visits

Support visits are focused on your individual needs if you require specific advice and guidance. Whether you require some help planning and understanding the assessment criteria before you start to deliver the qualification, or you’re running a new qualification for the first time and need guidance on how to run, assess and quality assure it to make sure you are meeting our requirements. You can arrange a support visit via our QualHub website.

  • Preparation for the EQA visit

There is a detailed document on our website which supports centres on preparing for your actual EQA visit. This document goes into detail regarding what the EQA will be covering on the day and possible sources of evidence.

  • Ensure staff CPD logs are up to date

Continued Personal Development (CPD) is an important element of the EQA, IQA and Assessor role, and all are personally responsible for their own CPD. It’s essential to stay up to date and record any CPD clearly in a log book. These must be held and presented at review time. The CPD log should include sector specific personal or professional development, as well as for assessor and/or IQA practices.

  • Support with DCS

Direct Claim Status (DCS) is a reward system that we offer to encourage best practice. When you achieve DCS, you’l be able to claim learner certificates without needing authorisation from your EQA. For more information and any queries regarding this, please visit our website.

For more information on the support available to you when preparing for EQA for NCFE and CACHE qualifications, please visit our website.